Wednesday, June 2, 2010

We're moving!

I have been MIA for almost a month now. I feel like every blog I write starts out this way. David's accident took up a lot of my time, but he's almost back to normal now. He has an appointment today to get his cast cut off and more x-rays taken. We're praying everything is healing nicely and he can just use a brace for the next month. But the main reason I've been gone is that I've been doing lots of research. About 3 weeks ago David got his new orders. We're moving to....OKINAWA, JAPAN for 3 years.

I know! I was just as shocked. I cried for a full 24 hours because I was so stunned and overwhelmed by the news. This wasn't something we'd ever talked about because we never thought we'd have to go there. But now, after 3 weeks of researching and prayer I am excited and ready to go! The thing that still makes me a little leery is having to behind our dog, Bear, at least for a little while. He'll stay with my parents until we're settled and have a house he'll be able to stay in. The military will provide our house and furniture (we'll be taking our bed, sofa and a couple decorations but not much else). They will also store our truck so that it will be in good working condition when we get back. The hardest part will be leaving our families, but they understand and we'll be able to talk often. We can also get discounted tickets to fly home, so it won't be too bad.

What does this mean for us financially? It's going to be such a blessing! I was on the fence about even accepting the orders to Japan, until we crunched the numbers. With the extra entitlements of living overseas, plus the discount in auto insurance and the fact that I can use expired coupons, we have come up with several goals. The first one being PAYING OFF THE TRUCK within the first 18 months! I can not tell you how excited I am about the idea of coming in 3 years to a paid off truck with only 50k miles on it.

We still have a lot of questions and concerns about the move, but we're excited about the journey!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Hello Murphy. We've been expecting you.

This is my husband David, and yes, he's holding a set a training wheels.

Thursday morning, a little before 7am, I got a call that I'd hoped I would never get. David had been in an accident on his motorcycle on his way to work. It was a pretty nasty crash, and he'd been taken to the emergency room. When you think of motorcycle wrecks, you think of the absolute worst. I was so relieved when I got to the ER and found that he only suffered a broken hand, sprain ankle, bruised ribs and some road rash. It could have been so much worse.

In July of 2008, when we started our Total Money Makeover (by Dave Ramsey, of course) we started expecting "Murphy" to make a visit. You know-everything that can go wrong, will go wrong! But it never happened. In fact, our journey to be credit card debt free was almost easy. Since then we've moved on and are working on the emergency fund. But it feels like we just got the wind knocked out of us. Luckily, the bike was paid for and with David being a Marine all his health care is paid for and he won't be losing any income. But we didn't have full coverage on his bike, and insurance isn't going to pay for it. He's going to sell it for parts and try to recover some cash to add to savings for a new bike.
But it made me realize something I might not have other wise-that we have become complacent in our financial journey. We worked so hard to get the credit card paid off, and it felt so good to accomplish that. But it seems like we've really lost focus on building our savings. Just because we don't have any credit card debt does not mean we are out of the woods and can "live like no one else", we are SO not there yet. We've started to become lazy in our goals and loose with the budget. And that's a nasty combination. But I am re-motivated now and ready to build up that emergency fund, but Murphy finally showed up for a visit and I don't like him.
**By the way, David's co-workers brought him those training wheels, flowers and balloons so he doesn't have any more accidents. Isn't that the funniest thing ever!?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

April 18-24 Menu

Today has been a lazy day at our house, and I finally got the time to blog! I don't even think I made one entry in the month of March. Between 2 visits home and David's trip out of the country, then problems with both of our laptop chargers, it was one crazy month! But I am back, the laptops are fixed and we should be getting back to our routines this week. So here's the menu:

Sunday: Homemade Pizza
Monday: Enchiladas
Tuesday: Meatball Subs
Wednesday: French Toast, Sausage
Thursday: I'm having some friends over for brunch, so we'll have leftovers or sandwiches for supper.
Friday: Spaghetti and Green Beans
Saturday: Neighborhood Picnic, potluck style. I'm thinking a corn salad!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Emergency Savings are crutial!

I haven't posted anything this month because I've been busy and out of town. At the beginning of the month, my Grandpa passed away. We were not ready for it, but it was not completely unexpected. He would be 80 next week and had several health problems, but we thought we had more time. We're all heartbroken of the fact that he is gone, but through our faith we know that he is with our grandma, who he loved and missed dearly and is at peace. That being said, we had to make an emergency trip home for a week, and my brother had to fly in from Virginia. We were definitely not preparing to spend that extra money to travel back to Florida and luckily we pulled from our entertainment and blow money to cover most of the trip and the rest came from Travel Savings. We were able to make the entire trip home without even having to touch the emergency savings-but it was there if we needed it! That's a wonderful, peaceful feeling. It's amazing what a difference a year makes! If this had happened a year ago we would have, without a doubt, put the money on our credit card. And why? David brings in the exact same income he did last year. But because we thought it was "normal" to have credit card debt and keep up with the Jones (Who are BROKE, by the way!) we put stuff we didn't need on debit cards, and when we had real needs those had to go on the credit card. Then a year ago we decided, "Hey? Let's try buying what we NEED first with cash, SAVING enough for our future needs and goals, and using the rest of the cash on fun?" And it has changed our lives. Do bad things still happen? Of course they do, case in point this month. But it seems like Murphy isn't nearly as scary when he has to face an Emergency Fund!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

March Goals

In like a lion, out like a lamb. I'm hoping for more of the lamb and less of the lion around here. I feel like March will be a great month for us, we'll pay off the last of the Bike loan, and it will be all savings from there. We are expecting news on David's orders sometime this month, and then we should have a good idea of when we'll be moving.

March Goals:

  1. Pay off remaining $170 of Bike Loan.
  2. Add $200 to savings.
  3. Cut back on dining out.
  4. Try to use less gas, and makes fewer trips to the store.
  5. Finish Spring Cleaning.

I'll check back in soon!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

2/25-2/28: Living Frugally

I'm just now catching up on the last couple days. I have to say, we've been doing very well at not spending much money this weekend. A lot of that has to do with the fact that we've gotten serious about house shopping, and it really makes you think before spending money when you're saving for something so important.

Thursday was easy, it rained so David drove my truck into work and I didn't leave the house. He did spend $12 on lunch with co-workers but it came out of this $30 weekly blow money, so that's not a big deal.

Friday was payday and I went out to get the envelope cash and gas in the truck. My bank gives rebates for ATM fees, so there was no waste there. Before I got gas I checked so find out where the cheapest place in town was. It happened to be Walmart, which is great because it's only about a mile away and I used a Walmart Shopping Card to save $0.03 a gallon. I bought 16 gallons, saving me a total of $0.48. Doesn't sound like too much, but it was something I was going to buy anyway, might as well save a couple quarters doing it, right? Next stop was the vet to buy Bear's hear worm prevention. It was $55, but it came out of his envelope, so again it there was no real effect on the monthly cash flow. Pet care can be expensive but it's SO worth it to keep your pet happy and healthy. A little money spent to protect your pet now can save so much more expense and heartache later on. I cannot stress this enough!

Which brings me to Saturday. Weekends are always, ALWAYS a "budget buster" for us. I should say for me though, because most money spent is because I don't feel like cooking. I'd say 80% of our blow/entertainment money is spent on dining out. There really is no reason for this, especially when we have a house full of food. But I am really making an effort this week, so I cooked breakfast at home this morning instead of running to McD's. We had leftovers for lunch, then met friends for dinner. We went to a local deli, where I had coupon for a free appetizer and we got a military discount. We saved about $6, and the total bill was only $17. After that our friends came over to watch some movies and play Wii. We had a great time, and $17 is not bad for a Saturday spent with friends!

2/28-3/6 Menu

Hello warm weather...where are you? I am so over this cold weather and I'm in the mood for warm weather and outdoor fun. Next weekend is the first race at our local dirt track and David and I are so excited about that we can't stand it! Other then that, it's just the same 'ole routine around here.

Here's the menu:
Sunday: Going over to friends house or Stuffed Shells
Monday: Stuffed Shells or leftovers, depending on if I make them on Sunday
Tuesday: Cola Chicken, Rice, Peas
Wednesday: Beef Stroganoff, Green Beans
Thursday: Baked Fish, Potatoes, Broccoli
Friday: Breakfast
Saturday: Out to the race track!